Monday, March 4, 2024
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Our game plan clicked: Ali

Navua Coach Saiyad Ali says the game plan to play more attacking football clicked in their 2-0 win over Nadi in the second Group B match of the 2023 Courts Inter District Championship (IDC) at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva today.

Ali said after their 2-0 loss to defending champions Suva on Day 1 of the tournament yesterday, the Southerners were well aware of the importance of the game today.

“Our plan was to win this game. The important part was that before Nadi could score, we needed to take the lead and that’s why from the beginning we took the game in a very attacking approach.”

“We used most of our attacking players in the game. We had to put one more man upfront to make sure we score first and control the game from there.”

“The fact was that this was our important game and if we lost this one, we would have been the very first team out of the tournament and it motivated the players.”

Ali revealed that his message, which was to play collectively and pressure Nadi’s defence throughout the match, encouraged the players to give their hundred per cent.

“After the loss yesterday, our mindset changed and we set our focus on a win and nothing less than a win. The message was very simple; I told the players if you want to continue in the IDC, all you have to do is to win this game.”

“I told them to decide what they want and we could see the outcome of our message after yesterday’s game. The players understood very well that we reached the final last year and they are motivated and in the mood to win tomorrow again.”

“In this heat, they gave their hundred per cent and I can say that we deserved this win today. I think it was the unity of the players today. They all played collectively as a team and they met without the officials and coaches to discuss the importance of the game today. They took the ownership and responsibility to perform the task that was handed down to them after yesterday’s match. ”

Navua has a crucial match against Rewa tomorrow and since last season, both teams have met seven times and all games ended up in a tie.

“We know Rewa will come as a changed team tomorrow and we might have to change the game tactic tomorrow. We can have another plan for Rewa and come tomorrow we will know who is the better team.”

“Tomorrow will be a day to see who is the winner between the two teams. We had a good plan since I joined Navua’s coaching panel. I’m very thankful that our president accepted my game plan and the team is working according to what we aimed for. It was a very realistic plan where we were not going for any win but trying to build a team.”

The crucial encounter between Navua and Rewa will kick off at 3pm.

Romeka Romena
Romeka Romena
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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